Sunday, August 01, 2021

Sunday Scripture



As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'll be posting each Sunday for awhile about a simple study of Psalms that I worked on last summer.  It was such a good one to be working on in 2020 -- and some of it was done while we were on vacation at places like Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.  There couldn't have been a better backdrop --so awe-inspiring and so many great reminders of just how amazing God is!

This Psalms study is another from Good Morning Girls.  These are simple studies but I got so much from them.  I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the journal from GMG uses a very similar method.  I find it a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, and I hope that you will give this method a try if you haven't ever done so.  

Today's study is from Psalm 113.   The reflection question this time is important to look at before we begin.  It notes: "Morning, noon and night, our God is worthy of praise.  He is unchanging and always worthy of continual praise.
"List 5 things you can praise the Lord for today, and then pause and give Him praise right where you are.  He is worthy!"

My list of 5 things:
* His sovereignty
* His omnipotence
* His goodness
* His omniscience
* His faithfulness

The verse to focus on was verse 3, but I chose to study Psalm 113:1-3.

S= "Praise ye the LORD.  Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.
     
"Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.
      "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the LORD's name is to be praised."  (Psalm 113:1-3)

O= It is the LORD that we are to be praising -- the self-existent One who has always been and always will be.  His servants are to be praising Him! 
    This praise and blessing of God's name is to continue forever -- unceasingly.  And it will!
    God's name is to be praised from sunrise to sunset every day -- and as the earth turns, it is always sunrise somewhere!

Two cross-references for verse 3 are: Isaiah 59:19 -- "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun."

and

Malachi 1:1 -- "For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, My name shall be great among the nations, saith the LORD of hosts."

A= God is worthy of my continual praise.  Just considering the 5 things I jotted down to praise Him for ... just those 5 things alone -- make Him worthy of continual praise.  In fact, even the simple truth that He is God makes His name worthy of continual praise.  May I be continually praising Him with my lips and glorifying Him with my life!

P= "Lord, I praise You today that You are God alone!  I am so thankful that You are sovereign over all things in this crazy world.  You know everything that is happening, and You have a good purpose in all that you allow.  You are faithful to Your children through every situation in life.  Truly, Your name is worthy of my continual praise!  May I be doing just that with both my life and my lips.  In Jesus' matchless Name, Amen."

I hope that today finds you praising our wonderful Lord!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Just had to share these photos

 ... even though I don't have time to put together a proper post.  I did put  a couple of them on Instagram, but wanted to quickly share them here as well.

The handsome barred owl above flew into a tree so close to our little cottage on Sunday afternoon.  We had left the camera in the car, but Mr. T sneaked out and got it and managed to get several photos and a video.  Simply amazing!
Meanwhile, deeper into the woods, we found several beautiful patches of Indian Pipes. 
These pretty pink-red mushrooms were out there too, as well as the little cream color ones below.  The variety of fungi we are seeing must be due to our extremely wet weather.  It is interesting to observe.

Hope you've enjoyed this peek at what's going on in our woods this week!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 

As I mentioned last week, I'm planning to post each Sunday about a simple study of Psalms that I worked on last summer.  It was such a good one to be working on in 2020 -- and some of it was done while we were on vacation at places like Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.  So awe-inspiring and such great reminders of just how amazing God is!

This Psalms study is another from Good Morning Girls.  These are simple studies but I got so much from them.  I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the journal from GMG uses a very similar method.  I find it a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, and I hope that you will give this method a try if you haven't ever done so.  

This week's study is from Psalm 112.  The particular verse to zero in on was verse 6, but I chose to study verses 5-7.  I also thought that in this case it was important to include verse 1, so I wrote that out at the top of my journal page:

"Praise ye the LORD.  Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in His commandments."  (Psalm 112:1)

S= "A good man ... will guide his affairs with discretion.  Surely he shall not be moved forever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD."  (Psalm 112:5-7)

O= Verse 1 sets the tone for the entire psalm.  We're exhorted to praise the Lord and we're reminded that the blessed man is the one who fears the LORD and delights in His Word.  This person will then be able to guide his or her affairs with discretion.  He will have a heart that is firmly fixed on God and will be able to trust God fearlessly, even in the face of trouble and difficulty.

A= Fearing God and delighting in His Word gives me the wisdom to live life in a way that pleases Him.  Life right now is upside down and backwards, yet I still need to live life with discretion.  In my lifetime,  in this country, there has never been a more challenging environment in which to be a believer.  I need to stay my mind and heart on God and move forward.

P=  "Lord, I thank You that You are my steady Rock.  I pray that You will help me to cling to You in these uncertain times, delighting greatly in Your Word and staying my mind on You.  I pray that You will give me the wisdom I so desperately need to live my life in a balanced way in an unbalanced world.  Thank You for all You'll do, in Jesus' name, Amen."

This particular lesson had a reflection question (many of them do, in this study, but sometimes I end up answering them in my SOAPing of the verse) that I'll share my answer to.

Question: When trials come, the depth of our roots in God are revealed.  How deep are your roots?  Is there an area where you have been shaken?  If you have slipped, return to God and go deeper with Him.  He loves you and wants to be your steady rock.

My answer: My roots are deep. I have not, by His grace, been shaken.  Life can be scary right now as we see so many of our liberties being threatened and so many of our citizens believing lies.  Yet we need not fear trouble.  God is with us, and He will see us through anything that we may face.

I hope that this simple little study will be a blessing to someone else today!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Recipe ramblings

 

As I mentioned last week, I've tried a few new recipes lately.  The recent hot, humid weather prompted me to go through a stack of main-dish salad recipes that I'd saved.  The potato salad with kielbasa, above, is a Woman's Day recipe I've had for years but had not tried.  It's very good!  Below is the rest of the recipe:

Another salad recipe I've saved for years but never tried is this Hearty Pasta Salad from an older issue of Taste of Home.  

Photo from Taste of Home

For the meat, I used cut-up smoked turkey and it was very good.  I didn't use either carrots or celery as I was really crunched for time.  Instead I used some frozen petite peas, thawed in a strainer under hot running water.  I also added a good bit more lemon juice to the dressing.  1/4 teaspoon is a pretty small amount.

When we visited Nevada this spring, my sweet daughter gifted me with a copy of Taste of Home's Healthier Cooking.  It has so many good recipes in it!  This Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Salad is one of them.  I've made this multiple times now,  and it is SO delicious.  That entire magazine, in fact, has such a variety of great recipes that it is well worth owning.  Very few, if any, ads. 

Photo from Taste of Home

I used that taco salad recipe while we were staying and working at a Christian camp early this summer.  It was so easy since I cooked and shredded the chicken at home, then brought it along in a container along with bags of salad mix, cherry tomatoes, avocados, shredded cheese and a bottle of ranch dressing.  It made for quick, simple, nourishing meals after busy work days.

 Another new recipe I recently tried was for Quick-Pickled Red Onions.  I kept seeing this condiment mentioned on people's blogs, so I finally bought a red onion, found a recipe, and went for it.

 

Photo from Martha Stewart
We both enjoy onions on burgers, but seldom have them because we are still tasting the onions for days afterward, it seems.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that we could put these pickled red onions on a turkey burger or a sandwich with no ill effects at all.  Now I am looking forward to trying these out in the company of grandson Sam, known in his family as the Condiment King when it comes to burgers.

I can't forget to share this recipe for low-carb Cream Cheese Chicken Stuffed Peppers!  I tried this one day when I had some colorful sweet peppers to use up and this recipe happened into my email inbox.  I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand.  This is a super recipe by Karly from Buns in My Oven.

Photo by Karly from Buns in My Oven
This is a scrumptious recipe and so easy!  My hubby could not stop raving about how delicious these stuffed peppers were and that there is no need to ever make them any other way. 

Lastly, I want to share an eggplant recipe: Slow Cooker Eggplant Parmesan from Anne Wolfe Postic.  Someone gave my local daughter a very large eggplant; in fact, it seemed like two large eggplants that had grown together.  Their family doesn't really care for eggplant, so she offered it to me.

 

Photo from Pixabay
The weather was so hot at that point that I couldn't even think about making moussaka or eggplant parmesan in the oven as I ordinarily might.  My hubby suggested looking for a slow cooker recipe, and this is the one I found.  It was also too hot to think about making my own marinara, so I used the jarred kind.  This eggplant parmesan turned out so, so good!  I loved the fact that, although the eggplant slices are dipped in egg and crumbs, they do not need to be fried.  Again, this was a recipe my hubby raved about and declared there was no need to make eggplant parmesan the regular way ever again.  I really think he's right!

There are my recipe ramblings from the past few weeks.  Maybe you'll find a recipe you want to try among them.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 

In last week's Sunday Scripture post (which ended my study of 2 Corinthians) I wondered if readers would like for me to continue this type of post.  Becki replied with the thoughtful comment, "I think writing this kind of post should happen whenever, and however often it suits you, Mrs. T. They will touch the right reader when they're posted."

I really appreciated this comment, and so I'm going to post each Sunday from a simple study of Psalms that I worked on last summer.  It was a good one to be working on in 2020 -- and some of it was done while we were on vacation at places like Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.  So awe-inspiring and such great reminders of just how amazing God is!

This Psalms study is another from Good Morning Girls.  These are simple studies but I got so much from them.  I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the study guide from GMG uses a very similar method.  I find it a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones.  

So without further ado I am going to share my little study from Psalm 111.  Verse 10 was the one suggested to SOAP, but I looked at portions from verses 4 and 7-8 in addition to verse 10.

S= "The LORD ... hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion ... The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure.  They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness...
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: A good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth forever." (Psalm 111:4, 7-8, 10)

O= This psalm is filled with praise and reverence for God and all of His wonderful works which He has made to be remembered:

🌿 He is gracious and full of compassion
🌿 The works of His hands are truth and judgment
🌿 All of His commandments are sure
🌿 All of His commandments stand fast forever
🌿 All His commandments are done in truth and uprightness.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and all those who do His commandments have a good understanding.

A= How can we help but stand in awe of this omnipotent, omniscient Creator and all of His wonderful works?  Our awareness of God should lead to our putting into practice obedience to His Word, and to our praising Him forever.  It is an incredible blessing to remember God's graciousness and compassion and how He has shown these qualities to us personally.  Knowing that His commandments stand fast forever in such a comfort!

P=  "Oh Lord, what a great God you are!  Like David, I praise You with my whole heart.  I remember Your wonderful works in creation and also in my own life.  I pray that You will give me the wisdom and understanding to balance my life and to live it in a way that pleases and glorifies You.  I praise You in Jesus' name, Amen".

And there is my simple study for Psalm 111.  I hope it's a blessing to someone today.


Friday, July 16, 2021

Friday five

 

Well, it has been awhile since I posted a Friday five.  I probably shouldn't even be taking the time (it's time I am borrowing from other tasks) but well, I want to.  So ... here goes with five blessings from the week.

1.  Having a working oven once again!  

 
Or maybe I should say, having a handy hubby who can pretty much fix anything.  Our oven died last week.  We were planning to take supper to our camp and share with our daughter and family who were having their place spray-foamed (insulation) and couldn't cook in the house.  I brought a crockpot of chili and some tortilla chips, but planned for cornbread as well.  I turned the oven on to pre-heat and mixed up the cornbread, but the oven never came up to temperature.  My handy husband diagnosed the problem and ordered the part, which finally came today.  Voila, a working oven!  (But it's too hot outside to use it.)

2.  Trying several new recipes lately that really turned out well.  

Since we were speaking of cooking, that jogged my mind to mention recipes.  I hope to blog about them next week, but the salad above was one.

3.  A fun way to stay hydrated in the hot, humid weather.


The water bottle (and matching hand-painted coaster) was a gift from my friend Amanda Reed following the conclusion of a Bible study in May.  It's really been inspiring me to keep it filled with water and ice.  The red color in the water is from a Watermelon Mint cold infuse water sachet from Twinings.  These come in lots of flavors.  I've only tried the Watermelon Mint but I really enjoy it.

4.  Continuing to see answers to prayer in my use of time.  The rhythms and the one-minute rule that I mentioned in one of my Summer Planning posts are really helping me to become much more effective in my use of time -- something I've prayed about for many years!

5.  Time spent at our little camp.  The photo below was taken in the early evening, when it was still light outside but we needed some lights on inside.

 We are settling into a summer routine of sorts where we plan to spend three nights a week over there.  Even though there is still a lot of work to be done (and it is slowly getting done), we feel such a sense of peace when we walk into this little place.  We often bring a simple supper from home to eat as well.  We don't stay long into the next day (too much to do at home and elsewhere) but we get up at 5 a.m. so we can savor a couple of hours in this tranquil spot while we enjoy our Bible reading and prayer time.  So, so thankful to God for providing this little place for us!

Hope you all have enjoyed a blessed week as well!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 

Here's another Sunday post from my study of 2 Corinthians with Good Morning Girls that I did in Fall 2020.  This is the thirteenth and last post in this series.  As mentioned previously, I used the SOAP method of Bible study here, since the GMG study guide uses a similar method.  I find this very helpful for a quick little study such as this one, but even more for digging into passages more deeply.

For today, the verse to study was 2 Corinthians 13:11.  I chose to study verse 14 as well.

S = "Finally, brethren, farewell.  Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind; live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  Amen."  (2 Corinthians 13:11, 14)

O=  Paul concludes his letter with these words.  I chose to include verse 14 because I thought it was so meaningful that all three members of the Trinity are mentioned in it.   Greek scholars tell us that the word  translated "farewell" in verse 11 can also mean "rejoice", and that this is the most likely meaning.  So Paul concludes with instructions to the Corinthians to rejoice, to become mature in their faith, to comfort one another, to be like-minded and at peace with one another.  The God of love and peace was with them, after all!

A=  These closing thoughts from Paul should encourage me as well.  I should be rejoicing, should be maturing in the Christian life, should be of the same mind and at peace with others in the church.  It's a blessing to be reminded that God -- the God of love and peace -- is always with me and will enable me to do these things.  The God of love and peace will surely help me to love and comfort others and to live at peace with them.

P=  "Lord, I thank and praise You for being the God of love and peace.  I thank You too that You are the God of all comfort.  You are able to help me show Your love and comfort to others and to live at peace with them.   I pray that You will help me to continue to mature in my Christian life and to learn to rejoice no matter my circumstances.  I thank You for all You will do, in Jesus' name, Amen."

So ends this little Sunday Scripture series.  Thanks to all of you who have visited and left insightful comments on this little study.   What do you think?  Should I continue doing a similar type of post on Sundays?

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Goodbye, Old Blue


If you have spent much of any time in rural New England, you know that as a people we are prone to saving things that might be useful again someday.  One of our poets, Donald Hall, wrote a book of essays titled String Too Short to Be Saved.  He took the inspiration for this title from a container he found (I think it was an envelope, but it may have been a box) in the old family homestead, with just this label on it.  The pieces of string it contained were too short to be useful, but they had been saved anyway. 

Many New Englanders take this frugal habit to the extreme and save very large items like vehicles, campers, and even houses for potential later use.  Most of the people I know have an additional, unused vehicle somewhere on their property, and some have several.  Often, these are hauled out into the woods and sometimes they sort of sink out of sight out there. 

 

Old Blue here, this early 1970s pickup, was originally my Dad's, then my hubby's.  It plowed snow for many years and made countless trips to the dump.  But the time came when Old Blue was no longer roadworthy in anyway, so out to the woods it went.

We had decided that this would be the year that Old Blue would go to the scrapyard.  In our view, it was just time to get this vehicle out of our woods, along with some other bits and pieces of scrap metal.

But one day this spring, someone stopped and talked to my hubby, asking if he might take Old Blue off our hands (and off our property -- yay!).  Mr. T was happy with this solution, and they agreed that sometime this summer they would make the move.

They had to wait until the ground dried out from mud season.  So a July Saturday was recently agreed upon as The Day.  Of course, no one could have predicted the several days of monsoon-like weather that happened this week,  and the ground was pretty wet, but they proceeded with their plan this morning.

 


 And there goes Old Blue!  Off to a new home with plenty of company and the potential for future usefulness.

I'm posting this mostly for my Nevada daughter, but knew other readers would find it entertaining as well.  Hope you've enjoyed this look at real life in rural New Hampshire!

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Summer planning, Part 2

 

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been doing some planning for summer.  I've been using some prompts I've had for awhile; I think they may have been an earlier version of Jess Connolly's Summer to Thrive.  I've had them stashed away in one of my blog fodder folders for years, I guess, with "Summer" scrawled at the top. 

 I know that to some, the summer is half over, but for me it is really just beginning -- and I want to squeeze every bit of goodness out of it.  I thought sharing these prompts and my answers might be an encouragement to someone else.   So here are a couple more questions and my answers:

5.  Rhythms -- instead of planning every minute and day differently, the author of these questions suggested that we establish rhythms for our summer days.  It was mentioned that we could also look at rhythms from the perspective of what to do each month of summer.

I wasn't sure how helpful I would find this idea, but I made a stab at it.  For the months of summer,  I chose the following themes:

* June -- planning and projects
* July -- celebrate and travel
* August -- relax, refresh, regroup.

For daily rhythms, I came up with the following, taking into account the things I absolutely must do:

* Early morning -- physical and spiritual health
* Morning -- homemaking chores and work (Etsy shop)
* Early afternoon -- ministry (phone calls, blogging)
* Afternoon -- ministry (Sunday School lesson prep); supper prep
* Evening -- relax, regroup

I've been pleasantly surprised at how well daily rhythms work for me.  They give a simple structure to my days.  It's amazingly helpful to set up my days in this way and to get most of the work and chores out of the way in the morning.  

I recently heard about a principle called the one-minute rule (or something similar).  If a task can be done in a minute or less, do it right then.  I tried this for a day and was absolutely stunned at  how much I accomplished that day, so I'm incorporating this into my life.

 6.  Lastly, some prompts for the fun stuff of summer.  There was a whole list of these and I chose the most applicable to me, to answer.

* What books do you want to read?

I want to finish Hope Again by Charles Swindoll, and finish a study of The Fringe Hours, by Jessica Turner.  If there's time I'd like to begin and complete a study of Own Your Life,  by Sally Clarkson.


* What trips do you want to take?

This summer, probably not many long trips, but possibly some getaways within New Hampshire, Maine, or Vermont.  Possibly some day trips to NH state parks.


* What fun foods do you want to make?

S'mores, iced tea, corn on the cob,hot dogs, main-dish salads, maybe homemade ice cream.


*  How do you plan to rest?

Downtime at our cottage, time at a friend's cabin up north, picnic suppers at the lake.


* What kinds of dates do you want to go on?

Ice cream dates, a seafood supper or two, picnics.


* Where do you want to serve?

Hospitality, mentoring, teaching, writing, helping out at a summer camp.


* What new hobbies do you want to try?

Watercolor, plus find time for some loved older hobbies like embroidery and cross stitch.


* What fun adventures might you have?

Exploring some new-to-us state parks or hiking trails; maybe following the NH Ice Cream Trail; exploring some back roads.

 There you have it!  My simple but helpful-to-me summer planning.  I hope that thinking about these questions will help you to enjoy every moment of summer.  It has certainly been a help to me!


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Summer planning, Part 1

 

Recently,  I mentioned that I've been doing some planning for summer.  I've been using some prompts I've had for awhile; I think they may have been an earlier version of Jess Connolly's Summer to Thrive.  I've had them stashed away in one of my blog fodder folders for years, I guess, with "Summer" scrawled at the top.  

I know that to some, the summer is half over, but for me it is really just beginning.  I thought sharing these prompts and my answers might be an encouragement to someone else.  So here we go.  I'll be dividing this into 2 posts.

1.  How do you want to feel at the end of summer?  How do you want the people around you to feel at the end of summer?

For myself, I want to feel energized and somewhat rested.  I'd like to feel as if I got to do many of the things that make summer special to me.

As for the people around me, I'd like for them to feel the same -- energized, somewhat rested, and as if they did many of the summery things they look forward to each year.


2.   If you could pick only 3 ways to work toward how you want to feel at the end of summer, what would they be?

1) Eat outdoors (or within screens) whenever possible.
2) Help my hubby as we renovate our little cottage -- a true "summer place"!
3) Take every opportunity to soak up summer time with friends and family.


3.  What do you have to do?  Write down the responsibilities that can't go away.

* Meal prep (but I can work at simplifying it)
* Basic housework and laundry
* Hospitality and mentoring
* Ministry, including Sunday School lesson prep and blogging
* Etsy shop listings/sales

 4.  What don't you have to do?  We were encouraged to dig deep on our answers to this one.

* I don't have to spend any time on Facebook.
* I don't have to watch TV or movies unless I choose to.
* I don't have to text anyone.
* I don't have to have an iPhone.
* I don't have to prepare every meal from scratch.
* I don't have to post on Instagram unless I want to.
* I don't even have to look at Instagram every day.
* I don't have to check my email more than twice a day.
* I don't have to post in my blogs every day -- but I consider them a ministry so it's important to post regularly.  Plus, it brings me joy.
* I don't have to make  handmade gifts unless I choose to -- but I find it fun and joyous to make some gifts, so I will be working on some this summer.

 Okay, I hope that these simple questions/prompts may help you with your summer planning as well.  It's not too late to get a better handle on your summer!  I'll be back soon with Part 2.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

A Blessed Independence Day to You!

 

 (This is pretty much a re-post from last year, but my thoughts are still the same, so I am posting it again.)

I hope that each of you Americans reading this will have a glorious Fourth of July celebrating the birthday of our beloved country! Whether you celebrate with family, friends, or church family, whether you are here on US soil or elsewhere, whether you're enjoying a picnic, a parade, fireworks, or possibly even a meaningful visit to a cemetery, I hope that each of you will take a moment sometime throughout the day to thank God for the land He has blessed us to be able to live in. Our country has many serious problems and flaws, but it is still a wonderful place to live and we enjoy many blessings here which we often take for granted. The wonderful song "America the Beautiful" includes these powerful words:

"America! America!
God mend thine every flaw.
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!"

I've often been reminded -- and it happened again when we sang this in church this morning -- that truly, God is the only One who can mend our flaws -- but we have to want that to happen and we need to beseech God that it will happen. I've often thought, too,  how so many of our citizens are so confused concerning the balance between liberty and self-control. Our land offers us many freedoms, yet we take them for granted and many times do not see the need to exercise self-control or self-restraint in any area of life. We want what we want, when we want it, and then when we meet the inevitable consequences of our lack of self-control, we expect our government to take care of us.

 Our flaws have never been more obvious, it seems, and never have I been more aware of how fragile our liberties are and how easily they can be snatched away.  Let's take time today to beseech God to help us "mend our flaws" as a nation, and to thank Him for the privilege of living in this land.

Today I'm also sharing a few links to previous Fourth of July posts that might be fun or encouraging reads on this meaningful day.

From 2019: Independence Day Medley

From 2018: Praying for our country

From 2017: July 4 Hodgepodge

From 2016: This Land is Our Land

Hope you'll enjoy them!

Sunday Scripture

 

Gorgeous graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

Here's another Sunday post from my study of 2 Corinthians with Good Morning Girls that I did in Fall 2020.  This is the twelfth such post -- just one more after this!   As mentioned previously, I used the SOAP method of Bible study here, and their study guide uses a similar method.  I find this helpful for a quick little study such as this one, but even more for digging into passages more deeply.

For today, the verse to study was 2 Corinthians 12:9.

S = "And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

O = We don't know for sure what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was, but we do know that it was painful.  It was enough of a difficulty that he besought the Lord three times to remove it from him.  God's answer, here in verse 9, was: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness."    He did not remove the thorn, but gave Paul His grace and strength to deal with the difficulty.

A = The same things are true for us in our difficulties.  God may not choose to remove them from our lives, but His grace will be sufficient for us.  In our weakness, we can depend upon Him to be our strength.  This is so comforting and encouraging!  Scofield suggests that the reason the specific nature of Paul's thorn is not mentioned is so that all believers with any type of thorn will realize that the same consolations are also available to them.  That's very likely the reason that Paul's thorn was not named, and what a blessing it is to know that that very same strength and grace is there for us too!

P = "Lord, I'm so thankful for the marvelously encouraging truths in Your Word!  It's such a blessing to know that, while You do allow difficulty and trials in our lives, You are in these situations with us.  Your grace will be sufficient for everything we face!  We are weak, but You are strong!  We can even glory in our infirmities, realizing that Your enabling power is resting upon us.  I thank You so much for these things, in Jesus' name, Amen."

Hope these simple thoughts about some profound truths have been a blessing to someone else today!

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Some goals for July

 

 I'm not sure how it got to be July.  A friend told me recently that after the Fourth of July has come and gone, she feels as if it's all downhill for summer from there.  I do know what she means, but personally I am working at trying to soak up every moment of summer.  I have some blog posts in the works concerning my goals for summer -- looking at it from the perspective of the technical beginning and ending of summer (late June to late September).  Hopefully I can complete those soon and share them with  you all.

Meanwhile, here are some goals for July:

* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones
* Read and study the July chapters in the Daily Walk Bible
* Continue our Daniel Bible study with younger believers
* Help our widowed friend Terry with the challenges of life in general
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman After God's Own Heart
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night  
* Limit sugar
* Drink enough water each day
* Walk and/or exercise each day
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week (with some help from Clean Mama)
* Do something creative each day
* Post in this blog as often as possible
* Post in my Christmas blog daily this month, for Christmas in July
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Spend a little time on some UFO craft projects
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items
* Keep up with Etsy and trust bookkeeping
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating
*  Meet Terry for breakfast out
* Attend our granddaughter's orchestra concert
* Prepare food to share with church family at our Fourth of July church picnic
* Also celebrate the Fourth of July with friends
*  Get some good work accomplished on renovating our camp
*  Plan a hot dog roast at the camp with our older granddaughters
* Get together with our daughter's family and some friends for a cookout
*  Volunteer our time to help with maintenance at a Christian camp as needed
* Assist our friends who just lost their home to fire
 

HEALTHY HABITS FOR JULY:  Drink more water/get more sleep/get more exercise/limit sugar
WORD FOR 2021: Steadfast

Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday musings

 

 Even though I feel that I have less to share than usual -- the hot humid weather has likely addled my brain -- I wanted to pop in with a brief Monday musings post just to touch base with everyone.

Yes, it's hot and humid here these days.  Last week we had a couple of nice cool days that were just wonderful.  Sunny, but breezy and cool.  I really wouldn't mind if the rest of the summer turned out to be just like that.

My hubby and I stayed at our little camp again, to catch every available breeze and bit of coolness through the night.  This morning we enjoyed coffee and our quiet time by the campfire.  We hope to stay at our camp one or two nights each week, and to make one of the mornings a leisurely one like this.  (Photo below is from a previous summer in our own back yard.)

We always loved having our devotional times outdoors when we were camping, and tried to do so on some Saturday mornings at home, but often there wasn't time to build a campfire.  Now that we are retired, we can enjoy something like this more often -- maybe once a week or so, as life is still very busy. 

Last evening our daughter and the 4 kids came over (some walked, some biked) and we just enjoyed a nice visit outdoors where there was a bit of a breeze under the trees.   We've brought over some vintage wooden (and other) lawn chairs and and a wood glider from Tractor Supply that's been on our porch for years but was seldom used.  It will get a lot more use at the cottage.  Now we have outdoor seating for a crowd.

Anyone else finding it tiresome to cook on these hot humid evenings?  We are eating a lot of sandwiches and salads. Alfresco Bean Salad  is a wonderful healthy side for any sandwich.  

I recently made a large batch of this, along with a simple pasta salad, for my friend Jenn who just had a baby.  It was a hot week like this one, and she loved having cold foods all ready to eat.  You can find the recipe for the pasta salad in this post: Supper on the deck.

 Saturday we attended a graveside service for an extended family member.  We were blessed that the rain held off, the day stayed overcast (it was so hot and humid the sun would have been brutal), and that we could see so many of Mr. T's siblings and their families.  It was a blessing to see the outpouring of community support for the family.

Speaking of Mr. T, he has been working hard on the project of insulating and installing a ceiling of matched pine boards at our little camp.  I have no photos of this endeavor, though I think our daughter got a few with her phone the other day when Josiah was helping with the project.  It's looking good!  He plans to install a window in one end and also a floor and ladder.  This loft will be a fun and functional spot for the grandchildren to enjoy.  Below you see it as it was last summer:

I'll leave you with a view from one of our camp windows.  All of that green is so soothing ... and there is a green view from every window!


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 

 Here's another Sunday post from my Fall 2020 study of 2 Corinthians with Good Morning Girls.  This is the eleventh such post -- just a few more to go!   As mentioned previously, I use the SOAP method of Bible study , and their study guide uses a similar method.  I find this helpful for a quick little study such as this one, but even more for digging into passages more deeply.

For today, the verse to study was 2 Corinthians 11:14, but I opted to study both verses 13 and 14.

S"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ; 

"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."  (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

O=  C.I. Scofield titles the section of chapter 11 from verses 3 through 15: "Warning against false teachers".  Here in verse 13 Paul calls them false apostles and deceitful workers who make themselves look and sound like apostles of Christ.  He then adds that this is not surprising, because Satan himself -- the very one these people are serving -- can transform himself into an angel of light to deceive believers.  It is just one of the devices he uses.

A=  More than ever, today false teachers abound -- and, I think mostly because of the internet, are able to deceive and affect more people.  That's why it's so important to know God's Word well so we can recognize false teachings when we hear or read them.  We also need to be willing to do our homework concerning authors, Bible teachers, and so on.  In light of recent events in our country, some who call themselves "evangelicals" are showing themselves to actually be false teachers.

P=  "Lord, I pray that You will help me to be wise and discerning when it comes to Christian authors, bloggers, and Bible teachers.  Help me to remember that not everyone who carries this label is truthful, and that I need to know Your Word very well to be able to recognize false teaching.  Help me to spend the time in Your Word that will help me to be discerning, and to take time to find out where these people stand before blindly following them.  I thank You for the wisdom You will give, in Jesus' name, Amen."

I hope that this simple study is as helpful to someone else as it was to me!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday musings

 

 Just a few Monday musings to look back over the week and especially the weekend.

Mr. T spent much of last week helping to paint the exterior of the family cottage above.  He and one of my cousins took on this project for this summer.  It has needed to be done for quite awhile.  They had blocked out a week to complete it, but the first two days were rainy.  Thankfully, they had gotten a head start the week previous when the cottage happened to be unoccupied. (Extended family members book time at this family cottage each summer and fall.)   It came out so nice.  Really thankful they were able to complete this project.   Below is a side view.  You can see they had perfect weather part of the time.

 I've been slogging away on posts for Christmas in July over at my Christmas blog.  I have a half dozen written and scheduled, with more in the works.

 Our weekend was really nice.  On Saturday morning, we went out for breakfast with visiting friends from Wisconsin.  What a treat!  Yummy food, fantastic fellowship, and maybe best of all, not a mask in sight.  We are so thankful for dear old friends who we can instantly reconnect with.

Saturday afternoon, we had some time with my nephew, visiting from Arizona.   We were excited to show him the little camp we are fixing up, a place he had not seen in many years.


Then on Sunday,  we had a nice day in church.  In addition to Sunday School and morning worship at our own church, we were blessed to attend an afternoon worship service at Grace Baptist and hear a message from one of the counselors at The Wilds of New England.  The last Patch the Pirate Club presentation of the year was also going on -- two of our grandkids took part -- and all of this was followed by a special Father's Day meal.

We rounded out the day with a campfire and family time at our little camp.  For Father's Day, our daughter and family gave my hubby a fun patriotic apron to use when he bakes his famous cookies.

Mr. T and I then spent the night at the camp, where we were able to sleep with windows open to a refreshing breeze.  This morning we enjoyed coffee at the campfire.  What a treat!  We are feeling incredibly blessed!